5 Ways Renters Insurance Can Cover Thanksgiving Mishaps

The holidays rarely go off without a hitch, so learn about when your policy can help.

renters insurance and thanksgiving mishaps

We look forward to the holiday season all year round. But sometimes even with a lot of planning and preparation, things can go horribly awry. 

If you’re a renter, you may have some concerns about what mayhem may occur this Thanksgiving, from exploding turkeys to other potential holiday mishaps—like candle fires, thefts while traveling, or injured relatives. To help put your mind at ease so you can enjoy your pumpkin pie in peace, we’re going to walk you through five common Thanksgiving mishaps—and how renters insurance may come to your rescue in the event something does go wrong. 

1. Kitchen fires

how renters insurance can help with thanksgiving kitchen fires

A good old-fashioned greasy turkey sounds pretty good in theory, until you have a grease fire on your hands. When your kitchen is running on overdrive, accidents can happen. When they do, they can cause a lot of damage. (And FYI, never use water on a grease fire, only a fire extinguisher, which you definitely have in your kitchen cupboard—right?).

Once you’re safe and the fire is out, you may start to panic about what comes next. Your kitchen hopefully isn’t as decimated as the unfortunate room pictured above, but the fire may have damaged or ruined stuff in your apartment (remember, smoke damage can reach much farther than the flames themselves do).

Luckily, if you have renters insurance, your personal property coverage can help cover the costs of damaged or destroyed valuables like furniture, electronics, clothing, bikes, or other personal belongings.

It’s important to note that anything that came with the apartment, like appliances or window coverings, wouldn’t be covered by your renters insurance policy since those belongings are your landlord’s and are their responsibility. It would be up to your landlord or their insurance policy to replace them. 

Also, if you have roommates, your renters insurance policy doesn’t protect any of their personal belongings, so it’s important that all roommates have their own individual policies. 

And if you live with your significant other but aren’t married, you’ll need to add them to your Lemonade renters policy for a small additional cost so their property and liability will also be protected.

2. Theft while you’re on vacation

Going out of town for Thanksgiving? If you’re worried about theft while you’re away, you’ll be happy to know that generally renters insurance almost always covers it. You’re even covered for thefts that happen away from home—so if someone steals your laptop while you’re traveling for the holidays, you can still file a renters insurance claim for it (just be sure to file a police report).

From electronics to jewelry to designer clothing, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your renters insurance may help if you fall victim to theft.

3. Injured guests

how renters liability coverage covers injured guests at thanksgiving
Did your dog get nervous and bite a guest? Your liability coverage can help.

If you’re planning on hosting this Thanksgiving, you may be opening your home to a handful of guests and loved ones. After 2+ years of the pandemic, it’s really nice to be able to do that without intense anxiety. But don’t forget that stuff can still go wrong when you have weekend visitors or dinner drop-ins—a best friend tripping on your carpet and breaking an ankle; your sister cutting herself while carving her Tofurkey; a nervous dog who isn’t used to all that company and decides to act out.

Whether medical bills or a lawsuit result from having a guest injured in your home, your renters policy’s liability coverage may gallop to the rescue. (Exceptions apply, as usual—for instance, you won’t be covered for dog bites if your pup falls into a high-risk category—so be sure to read your policy).

Also, this liability coverage can extend even when you aren’t at home—like if you have a house- or pet-sitter stopping by while you’re out of town and they injure themselves in your absence. 

4. Food poisoning

When you’re balancing cooking a turkey, ham, and multiple sides alongside appetizers and desserts, it’s easy to see how you may not be paying as close as attention to food safety as you usually do. While most people think of injuries of as more visible—a broken bone, a cut—your guests could also land in the hospital due to food poisoning, which counts as an injury that your renters insurance policy can provide support for. 

That said, it never hurts to invest in a trusty food thermometer, to make sure all your grub has spent sufficient time in the oven.

5. Damage from certain water leaks

88% of Americans report that they feel stressed while celebrating the holidays, and there’s no better relief than a warm bath. But what happens if, amid the holiday frenzy, you leave the tub running too long, causing water damage to your downstairs neighbors’ unit?

The good news is that you’d generally be covered under personal liability. You could also be covered for liability and property damage if you stuff too many leftovers down the drain, causing a water backup. (Just try not to do this!)

One less thing to stress about.

The takeaway

how renters insurance can cover thanksgiving disasters

The holidays are a fun and festive time, but they won’t always go off without a hitch. If they did, all those rom-coms set around Thanksgiving or Christmas would be really, really boring.

One day, you’ll look back and laugh at the time your nephew knocked over a candle and lit your centerpieces on fire, or when an overzealous post-turkey party game led to a cracked television screen.

Unfortunately, renters insurance can’t help with everything—it won’t protect you against contentious political debates with your uncle, sadly. But from protecting your personal property to covering your liability in the event of injuries, it provides a lot to be thankful for. 

Get Covered with Lemonade

A few quick words, because we <3 our lawyers: This post is general in nature, and any statement in it doesn’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. You’re encouraged to discuss your specific circumstances with your own professional advisors. The purpose of this post is merely to provide you with info and insights you can use to make such discussions more productive! Naturally, all comments by, or references to, third parties represent their own views, and Lemonade assumes no responsibility for them. Coverage may not be available in all states.

Jacqueline DeMarco
Jacqueline DeMarco is a contributor for Lemonade who has worked with more than two dozen financial brands, including LendingTree, Capital One, Credit Karma, American Express, Chime, Bankrate, CreditCards.com, SoFi and Northwestern Mutual, providing thoughtful content to give readers insight into complex topics that they likely didn’t learn in school.


Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.